NTSB Identification: ATL01IA083.
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Scheduled 14 CFR Federal Express Corporation
Incident occurred Friday, July 13, 2001 in MEMPHIS, TN
Probable Cause Approval Date: 07/25/2002
Aircraft: Boeing B-727-100, registration: N189FE
Injuries: 3 Uninjured.

NTSB investigators used data provided by various sources and may have traveled in support of this investigation to prepare this aircraft incident report.

After takeoff using standard power at 100 feet above ground level (AGL) the #3 engine fire warning light with normal engine indications illuminated. While the captain and second officer accomplished the engine fire/severe damage checklist the #3 oil low pressure light came on and the #3 generator tripped off. The fire warning light did not go out until the second fire bottle was used. They declared an emergency with the tower, and made a normal landing and taxied clear of the runway. Emergency crews inspected the airplane and observed no indication of fire. They subsequently did a normal taxi back to the gate and there was a normal shutdown. Examination of the engine found the starter turbine was missing from the starter assembly, however, the turbine was recovered from the engine cowling. All of the tips on the full length airfoils had rub marks with material displaced away from the direction of rotation. The starter shaft was separated 2 1/4-inchs from the impeller. The bearing was broken and rubbed flush to the shaft. The ignition exciter box brackets were burned and the box was hanging by the cable. The ignition exciter box was burned open.

The National Transportation Safety Board determines the probable cause(s) of this incident to be:

The failure of the #3 engine starter turbine.

Full narrative available

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